Rockets’ Russell Westbrook acknowledges need for ‘sacrifice’ in Houston, gives health update

first_img Kendrick Perkins blasts Steve Kerr for criticizing Anthony Davis’ trade to Lakers “To be able to win something, you have to be able to sacrifice some parts of your game and we both understand that,” Westbrook continued. “We both understand that we have one common goal and that’s to win a championship.”I don’t have to touch the ball to impact the game… I can do other things on the floor to make sure we have a better chance of winning.”Westbrook and Harden both like to have the ball a lot. The duo are the only players in NBA history to exceed 40.0 in usage percentage, and now they’ll have to share a backcourt. They last played together in 2012-13, before Harden was traded to the Rockets. Since then, both have been named MVP (Westbrook in 2016-17). Regardless, Westbrook is confident the two will can work well together.”We play great off the ball with each other. We’ve done it in OKC,” Westbrook said.Westbrook elaborated on what else he brings to the table, besides orchestrating an offense.”I think I can be able to help a lot on the rebounding end, and switching and finding a way to get into the passing lanes. Maybe throw a few lobs to James if he’s still got it. Figuring out a way to be able to just impact and use my athleticism.”He also addressed his health, as he underwent a procedure on his right knee in May. He assured reporters he is on track to play in camp.”I’ll be ready to go by training camp,” Westbrook said. “I’m doing great. Taking my time. Resting as much as I can, because we’re gon’ go after it at the start of the season and I’ll be ready to go.” Westbrook, 30, averaged a triple-double for the third consecutive season in 2018-19, but he admits the path to success with a new team might require a different approach. Especially playing alongside his longtime friend and former teammate James Harden, who was named the NBA’s MVP in 2017-18.”Me and James have been friends for many, many years, since I was 10 actually,” Westbrook said, alluding to when the two played youth basketball in the Los Angeles area growing up. Related News Clippers, Steve Ballmer unveil plan for potential multi-billion dollar, privately funded arenacenter_img All in all, Westbrook appears like he’s prepared for the next chapter.”I think it’s a great opportunity to be able to bring a championship here to Houston,” he said. “An opportunity to do great things, have some fun and I’m excited for it.” Russell Westbrook was introduced to the city of Houston on Friday and had plenty to say about his new situation at an introductory press conference.The Rockets guard was traded by the Thunder earlier this month in a deal that sent future draft picks, pick swaps and Chris Paul to Oklahoma City. Now he’ll form half of what’s arguably the NBA’s most dynamic backcourt. last_img read more

Solskjaer’s United looking for response after rare defeat

first_img0Shares0000Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates one of Manchester United’s greatest European victoriesWOLVERHAMPTON, United Kingdom, Mar 15 – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will look for Manchester United to respond to the first domestic defeat of his reign when they face Wolves in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday as the Norwegian moves closer to landing the job on a permanent basis.United’s shock Champions League victory at Paris Saint-Germain last week carried them through to the last eight and all but confirmed Solskjaer will soon be named Jose Mourinho’s successor on a long-term basis. Since that famous evening in France, United have tasted defeat for the first time in England on the interim manager’s watch, beaten 2-0 in last weekend’s league visit to Arsenal.But although that setback dented United’s bid for a top-four finish, it did little damage to Solskjaer’s standing, especially given the nightmare injury list he has endured recently.Some reports have suggested Solskjaer could be confirmed as manager during the forthcoming international break, which follows the Wolves Cup tie.United officials have offered no guidance on whether the appointment is imminent, but it emerged last week that Solskjaer does not, as was commonly thought, have a contract with his former club Molde.He revealed that, with regulations forbidding a manager from having concurrent contracts with more than one club, he tore up his deal with the Norwegian side to join United in December.It is understood United and Molde have put in place a compensation package should Solskjaer win the post permanently, with a figure of around £500,000 ($665,000) mooted.However, the United hierarchy, led by executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, have another burning personnel issue to resolve as the club seek to appoint a director of football.– Pivotal period –The time-table is for that role to be filled before the end of the season, allowing the newcomer the opportunity to oversee a close-season of transfer activity about which Solskjaer has already been consulted.The former United striker has talked openly about having been asked by the board for his thoughts on future player sales and acquisitions, although he claims that has no bearing on whether he will eventually land the manager’s job.It was always believed that March would be a pivotal period in the process of appointing a director of football as plans for the pre-season tour to Australia become finalised and increased attention starts being placed on signings.Former Tottenham and Southampton head of recruitment Paul Mitchell has been consistently linked with the post.Part of the logic behind his potential appointment seemed to focus on the possibility that his friend and Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino might be in line to become the United manager.Mitchell, now at German side RB Leipzig, has seen his name mentioned alongside the likes of Borussia Dortmund’s director of football Michael Zorc, former Arsenal sporting director Sven Mislintat and former United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, currently CEO at Ajax.While that appointment will be made with an eye on the summer, United must also assess what possible impact Solskjaer’s permanent promotion to the post might have on the remainder of the season.The feelgood impact of his December arrival still shows no sign of being diluted and, conceivably, an announcement could have public relations value for the club over the closing stages of the campaign.In the shorter term, United’s long injury list is slowly improving ahead of the trip to Wolves, with Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard all in contention to rejoin the squad.Wolves could prove a significant obstacle to United’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals however, having already beaten Chelsea and Liverpool and drawn with Manchester City at Molineux this season.“It’s an important game for us to get the semi-final at Wembley. We play at home. We’re going to prepare for this game all week now and try to do something great on Saturday,” Wolves midfielder Romain Saiss said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more